What Bike Next? Episode 1


We all know bikes are brilliant, so it’s no surprise we’re forever planning what our next one should be. Whether we’re upgrading, downsizing or simply adding another bike to the collection, we all constantly browse the classifieds, scour the internet and keep an eye on the stock at the local used bike dealers. Browsing for our next bike is almost a hobby – and it’s definitely habit-forming.

At BikeSocial, we want to bring that process to life.

What Bike Next? is the first in a new series of features and videos in which BikeSocial’s Michael Mann and Simon Hargreaves help BikeSocial Members find their ideal next bike by choosing three machines they think will hit the spot.

Then we invite the potential buyer to come along to Superbike Factory in Macclesfield and spend a day with us. But the catch is we keep the bikes we’ve chosen a secret, until the day of the test rides.

At the end the day, we find out how close we got to finding the bike of your dreams – or whether we missed the target completely.

This month, it’s the turn of BikeSocial Member Stephen Rawson to test-ride our three choices of used bikes from Superbike Factory’s massive second-hand stock.

Have our team got it right? Will Stephen pick one of them to buy? Find out...

*With huge thanks to Pirelli for supporting this project*


What Bike Next? Episode 1
A new series in which BikeSocial finds the ideal next bike for a BikeSocial Member – and takes them for a test ride. What did we choose?
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BikeSocial Member Stephen is at a crossroads. At 46 years old, he’s been riding for over 20 years, at first on sportsbikes – but, over the last few years, he’s been more into sporty naked bikes: “I had a go on a Daytona 675 and I really liked the engine, but sportsbikes were getting uncomfortable so I went for the Street Triple. Absolutely loved it, ticked all the boxes. My bike has always been a sunny afternoon toy; never used it for commuting or touring. I ride March to October, put it away for the winter. Done the odd track day too.”

But, a few months ago, Stephen had a bit of an off.


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“It was fairly big; the biggest one I’ve had in 15 years,” he says. “But I bounced reasonably well so all’s good with me. But it made me sit back and re-evaluate what I want to get out of motorcycling. Do I want to slow down a bit and choose a bike with a slightly less sporty nature? The Street Triple encourages me to ride in a certain way – but you do it for so long and then you think, there’s got to be more to biking than this. And I just wonder if a different type of bike might bring a different kind of mindset? Or will I ride the same way whatever bike I get?

So, Stephen decided to take a few months off to work out What Bike Next.


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“I’m open to anything,” he says. “I don’t *need* anything quicker than the Street Triple, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t have something quicker. I quite like the idea of something with more of the modern gadgets; I like the idea of an IMU and all the traction control stuff. In the back of my mind I wonder if it might have helped prevent the crash! Or maybe not. But that stuff appeals to me.”

“The thing is I don’t really know what I want!” says Stephen. “I spend so much time looking at various classified websites, but there’s so much choice out there.”

Stephen says he keeps coming back to the Street Triple 765RS – the successor to his 675. “It’s basically the same as I had, but quicker and more sophisticated. But I don’t know if that’s the route I want to go down.”

And how much is Stephen’s budget?

“I’m looking at around eight or nine thousand pounds maximum,” he says.

Sounds like Stephen is the perfect first candidate for What Bike Next? And here are the two bikes Simon and Michael have chosen for him to test ride – plus a third, mystery bike chosen by Jonathan, sales executive at Superbike Factory.


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Simon’s choice

Simon says: “I’m going first so I’m going for the obvious, safe option – I’m going for a bike from a manufacturer Stephen already likes, an engine layout he already likes, and a style of bike he already likes. It’s just a bit better in every respect – more performance, better handling, more gadgets and higher quality components. I reckon Stephen’s What Bike Next should be a Triumph 765RS.”

“This is a 2018 bike with 3000 miles on it, up at Superbike Factory for £7583. Compared to Stephen’s old 675, the 765RS comes with 121bhp, up 16bhp on his old bike. As an RS, it also comes with a quickshifter, engine modes, traction control and a lap timer, 41mm Showa forks and an Öhlins shock, and up-spec Brembo M50 calipers.”


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Stephen’s reaction

Stephen says: “That is very much how I remember the 675; I love it. Like an old friend. More power, but not massively so – everything felt really similar. I was unsure how I’d feel having had three months off riding, but it was like I’d never been away. I’ve wanted to ride one for a long time, and it’s not disappointing. Good choice, but there’s not a great deal of difference from my old bike. Still a good bike!”


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Michael’s choice

Michael says: “I think Stephen will still want to go for something with a sportier presence yet still retains a degree of versatility, so he can still do the odd track day on it, but with a bit more practicality too if he fancies trying longer distance touring. But he’ll still want engine character – so I’ve gone for a V-twin. And it’s Italian. I think Stephen’s What Bike Next will be a Ducati SuperSport S.”

“This one is a 2018 SuperSport S, and being the ‘S’ model that means it comes with adjustable Öhlins suspension plus an up-and-down quick shifter as standard. The motor is the 937cc Testastretta making 110bhp. This bike has just under 8500 miles on the clock and comes within budget at £8500. And it looks gorgeous.”


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Stephen’s reaction

Stephen says: “What a bike! Yeah, I loved it! A really good choice. The V-twin’s great when it’s spinning – not so much in traffic, but once it’s going it’s lovely and really smooth, with plenty of power. The sound is awesome. And the two-way quickshifter is great, and it handles so well. Be great on a track. The riding position is a bit wristier than I’m used to, but not too bad. It’s quite comfortable, and you can really feel the front end. It rails round corners. Loved it!”


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Superbike Factory sales exec Jonathan’s choice

Jonathan says: “So I think I’ve chosen is the perfect bike for Stephen – something he can enjoy when he wants to go out for Sunday ride with his friends, or for a bimble round. It’s got all the power he needs, perfect for going two-up and going touring on. If you want you can add touring accessories on there, and it comes with traction control.”

“I’ve chosen a 2018 Kawasaki Z1000SX with 10,000 miles for £7789. It’s a 1043cc inline four making 140bhp, so it’s more power than Stephen has used before. This bike comes with a few extras like heated grips and a rear rack.”


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Stephen’s reaction

Stephen says: “I like it. A lot bigger than I’m used to, but it’s super comfortable and loads of power. Really smooth too – you’re never short of performance. Don’t really need to use the gear lever, it just drives. Seems to handle pretty well too. You can move it around, it handles the bumps, a great thing to do some miles on. A good bike!”


Spec comparison


Triumph Street Triple 765RS

Ducati SuperSport S

Kawasaki Z1000SX






2896 miles

8636 miles

10,275 miles






765cc inline triple

937cc 90° V-twin

1043cc inline four


121bhp @ 11,700rpm

113bhp @ 9000rpm

138bhp @ 9800rpm


57 lb.ft @ 10,800rpm

71 lb.ft @ 6500rpm

82 lb.ft @ 7900rpm

Seat Height




West weight





Five riding modes, traction control, 5in TFT screen, quickshifter

Riding modes, traction control, quickshifter

Traction control, cornering ABS, heated grips


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Which one would you buy? Let us know in the comments below. And which one do you think Stephen goes for?



If you’re a Bike Social Member and you want us to choose your What Bike Next?, get in touch with your contact details at enquiries@bikesocial.co.uk


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